Thursday, May 30, 2013

Bitty Update

Bitty had surgery today to remove the mast cell tumor on the back of her ear. I just got off the phone with the vet and Bitty came through the surgery great.

There is a concern that one of her ears (the one that had the mass) had goop and blood in the ear canal, though. That's from one of three things: excess scratching of that ear (possible since the tumor gave of histamines that made her ear extra itchy), not being 100% over her previous ear infection, or the tumor has metastasized. We'll find out about the infection by this afternoon and we'll know if the tumor was, in fact, a tumor in 5-7 days.

Fingers crossed for either an itchy ear or infection! She gets to come home this evening, though, so that's always good news. She'll also have to wear a little cone. Poor Bitty. She's going to be so cute.

Monday, May 27, 2013

More Pictures!

Well, I haven't gotten all of my Alaska pictures up yet (I have over 300 to get through from Glacier Bay National Park alone!) but I did get more up! Here's a little sampling of what I get through:

Mendenhall Glacier
At the Mendenhall Glacier
Juneau, Alaska

Davidson Glacier
The Davidson Glacier
Glacier Point, Alaska

Margerie Glacier
Margerie Glacier
Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska

Salmonberry Bloom
Salmonberry Blossom at Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary
Ketchikan, Alaska

Butchart Gardens
Butchart Gardens
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Sunday, May 26, 2013

It Burns

Happy Memorial Day Eve, y'all! Dan and I have just returned from a weekend in Louisiana at Mudbug Madness where we ate, drank and were generally merry. I even got the first pool time of the year at the hotel, which was really nice. And I managed to eat a record (for me) number of boxes of crawfish with a whopping six and a half.


Crawfish can be a little tough to break into, though, and Dan and I are both returning with crawfish-related injuries - our thumbs are all cut up! And when you are eating something coated in cayenne... well, let's just say even my non-shredded fingers are feeling a bit like burning. Add broken skin into the equation... Yeah.

Mudbug Madness 2013

They were yummy, though, so it was worth it.

Friday, May 24, 2013


May 5, 2007 - May 24, 2013

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Apparently I Can Knit

Well, as woozy as my head is feeling today, apparently I can still knit. I had about 15 rounds of 2/2 ribbing left on Dan's socks and I was actually able to get that done today! It took me at least three times as long as it normally would and the bind off was almost a bit too thinky for my brain, but I managed to get it done! So now Dan has his first official pair of handknit socks!

Dan's Wilderness Socks

Wild, huh? Dan does like his orange (and orange and gray) yarns! The are wool & buffalo, which should help them not wear out. Of course, with temperatures in the high 80s, I don't think Dan will get a chance to test that for a number of months yet!

Project details (and a few progress pics) are on my Ravelry project page. Yay socks!

Next up: more socks! Seriously, not what I intended. I have things planned out. I need to get my purse lining done like yesterday (which means I must learn to use my sewing machine) but instead I got sucked into a test knit to try to convert sock patter (that I wanted to make anyway) from cuff down to toe up. Lord help me! I can't wait!

My Head Doesn't Work

Well, looks like there is going to be a bit of a delay before I get the rest of my Alaska pictures up. I have apparently gotten a head cold. Based on when symptoms started, I'm blaming the canned, recycled air on the flight back home. So for now, I'm sucking down the tea (and Dan's going to make me chicken soup tonight!) and trying not to do anything for which I need full mental capacity.

I did manage to get a handful more of pictures edited and posted, so here's another little sample.

Leaving Seattle
Sail Away Party

Juneau, Alaska
On the way to Juneau

Davidson Glacier
Canoeing out to the Davidson Glacier


Butchart Gardens
Unknown Flower at the Butchart Gardens

And, more exciting for me than anyone reading this (unless you are a fellow yarn fan), I have some pictures of my souvenir yarns!

Road to China Light Road to China Light
Zwerger Garn Opal Vincent van GoghA Tree Hugger's Wife Mega Sock
Arctic Qiviut

Okay, the first two aren't all that special. Well, they have 10% camel (I just can't say no to unusual fibers), but they aren't specifically Alaskan. The third one isn't Alaskan, either (in fact, it is German), but dude, self-striping sock yarn inspired by a Van Gogh painting. I couldn't say no! The fourth one, the lovely blue and green, is Alaskan - it's hand dyed by a Juneau-based dyer. Neat, huh? And the last one... oh, the last one. That's my stereotypical "a knitter goes to Alaska" yarn. It's 100% qiviut, also known as muskok wool. Don't even ask what it cost. A ridiculous amount. In fact, the other four yarns I got cost less than this one. Like, half. But I had to get it. It's so soft and warm - Alaskan and an unusual fiber. I love it!

And there is a dash of an Alaska update! Hopefully my head cold will go away quickly and I'll get the rest of the pictures up soon (by Monday is the goal). Fingers also crossed that this post makes sense. I've caught several places where I used a totally random word in place of one that would actually made sense. Sorry if any head-cold-related nonsense remains!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Back from the Wilds

My blog has been quiet for the past week-ish because Dan and I have been vacationing - in Alaska! Yes, we took a cruise out of Seattle that went to Juneau, Skagway, Ketchican and Victoria (Canada) and got back last night. So now I'm working through my 1,315 pictures to get down to something share-able. (My first pass at the pictures has gotten things down to 883.)

We were there for the beginning of the Alaskan spring which meant we were out and about in weather that most Texans would call winter. So it is nice to be back home with 80+° heat! But it was a very neat trip, even with temperatures in the 40s (and rain)!

I'm sure it will take me a bit to get through all the pictures, but here's a bit of a sampling:

Leaving Seattle
Leaving Seattle

Iceburg (& Birds)
Iceberg Ahoy!

Porcupine in a Tree
Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau, Alaska

Dan & Davidson Glacier
Dan at the Davidson Glacier
Glacier Point, Alaska

Glacier Bay
Scenic Cruising
Glacier Bay, Alaska

Ketchikan, Alaska

Tulip at The Butchart Gardens
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

And though I was on vacation, I did manage to get a bit of knitting in (thanks to my new KA Switch 9" interchangeables).

Scenic Knitting Cruising

I spent some downtime during the vacation working on a pair of socks that will be for Dan. I've dubbed them my Wilderness socks as 1) I've been working on them in Alaska and 2) it's got a bit of buffalo fiber in them, which is a bit wilder than just plain sheep, right? I didn't manage to finish them on the trip but I don't have a ton to go, so hopefully I'll finish them up this week. As I launder my way through half our closet and edit all my pictures.

As soon as I get all the pictures edited and up on Flickr, I'll post a slideshow. Hopefully it should be soon!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Who Knew?

Huh. Who knew that attempting to defer an emotional stress-related freak out could result in finished socks.


Technically, they aren't completely finished - they still have to finish blocking - but my input into the process is finished, so I'm calling them done.

I didn't think I'd finish these by my self-imposed deadline of today. I mean, I figured I had about a 40% chance. But there we go. At least stress can have a positive result!

The stitch pattern made the fabric created rather tight so I shortened the leg of these and didn't do the stitch pattern on the foot. If I had to do these over again, I'd go up to at least a US2. Maybe even a US2.5 for the leg then a US2 for the heel flap and points south. Then I could probably do a full-lengthed leg and put the stitch pattern on the foot.

I have learned from this endeavor that, while I think they are pretty, crossed stitches are crazy slow and kind of mean. I think I'll be avoiding crossed stitches in the future.

Tiny Bitty News

Just got back from the vet. Bitty has ear infections in both ears.

And a tumor. Specifically a mast cell tumor.

We will be scheduling surgery to remove the tumor and have it tested soon. Then we will see where we need to go from there.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Enthusiasm (or Not)

I should be working on my socks right now. I got a decent bit done last night all things considered, but I still have an inch and a half (about) before starting the toes. I plan on sticking a movie on later today and getting some serious knitting done. I hope.

I'll have to pick a happy movie, though, because the weather is nasty and gloomy today. It's even raining. Sigh. Just when I was getting my hopes up that spring (or even summer) was here to stay.

And while I'm not enthusiastic about the weather (or my current socks), Dan displayed some enthusiasm last night for the use of masking tape.

Dan Is Enthusiastic

Our garbage disposal was leaking a little and last night Dan was trying to fix it when it... well, broke a bit more. So tonight we'll be getting a new garbage disposal, but until then we aren't supposed to use that side of the sink. Dan's hint is so subtle, though, it's hard to remember that.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Good News, Bad News

Recently it seems that Dan and I have been breaking a lot of glass things in the kitchen. Two kitty bowls, a water pitcher, some beer bottles... As soon as we collect all the glass from one break (because no matter how much you sweep, you always find more later), we break something else. Today was almost another one of those days. I was in the pantry moving things around and my arm knocked into a jar of pasta sauce which took a header off the shelf.

As soon as I realized the jar was falling, I had enough time for the thought flash in my head, "This is going to be such a mess to clean up." But good news! It didn't break!

Of course, the bad news is that it didn't break because it landed on my foot. Right at the base of my middle and "ring" toes.

A couple of hours of painful limping on my foot, I noticed that there was a gap between two of my toes that wasn't normally there. Before I had been valiantly ignoring any potential ramifications to the jar hitting my foot, but I'll admit it, the new space between my toes freaked me out a bit. So Dan and I spent the next hour and a half at an urgent care place to see a doctor and get some x-rays.

But more good news! Not only did the jar not break, neither did my foot! It is, however, badly bruised and swollen. So I've been directed by the doctor to stay off of it, keep it iced and elevated and to wear a oh-so-stylish boot when I'm up and walking around. (I did decline the recommended crutches, though. I knew I wouldn't use them.)

My Day

I also got a prescription for an anti-inflammatory (which is being compounded to be corn-free so won't be ready until tomorrow) and that's kind of exciting since I can't take any OTC anti-inflammatories. It will be nice to have a corn-free one!

I did ask about my currently more spacious toes. Apparently my foot has swollen so much that it is making the toes spread apart a bit. It's also making one of my toes slightly numb from the pressure the swelling is putting on the nerves. No worries, I'm watching them to make sure nothing turns blue.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Is That You Spring?

Finally, it's a lovely day today! Like a roll-your-windows-down-and-beware-of-sunburn kind of day. It's like summer is trying to happen! I question if it is really here to stay though because we haven't even seemed to have a real spring yet. The weather doesn't stay nice for more than a day and we had to have the heat on as recently as last week.

It makes me rather grumpy. I need sun! I need summer! I need pool-appropriate weather! And each time I think it is here to stay, bleck, nope. Back to overcast and cool/cold. Boo.

My poor irises were blooming so profusely last week. But then we hit 36° overnight and they all shriveled up and ran away. Kind of like I wanted to do. But maybe, maybe, maybe this time the weather really means it. And while my irises are no longer pretty, I do have a few things in my yard in bloom. One of them is a first-time bloomer: our pecan tree!

Pecan Blossoms

Theoretically we could have pecans this fall. Just in time to move!

Saturday, May 4, 2013


My current knitting project is a pair of socks and, sadly, I've kind of fallen out of love with them. It makes it hard to work on them but I really want to get them finished so I can start on a pair of socks for Dan. But yeah, I just feel rather meh about them right now.

I've had some issues with these socks from the start - the crossed stitches and cables make the material a bit stiffer and less elastic which, combined with the fact that my ankles are a little larger than what the pattern anticipates, makes them rather snug fitting. I had this same issue with my first pair of socks (by the same designer) and I solved it by going up a needle size on the leg. It worked great but I forgot to do that with these socks. Ultimately, it's not a huge deal - the socks are still wearable and I know this yarn relaxes a bit after blocking - so while I'm nervous about how these will fit, I'm not really worried (if that makes sense). But the lack of elasticity does seem to tighten up my gauge even more, making the project a little rough on my hands and even less elastic, which makes me tighten up my gauge... You get the idea.

Even more fun, I'm using the only size US1.5 needles I had when I started this project, a pair of Chiaogoo circs. I'm using two circs at a time to make two socks at a time and... I just don't like the needles. I mean, yeah, I like the texture and the points, but the needles are too long to feel comfortable in my hand and the red cable, while I can see why others like it, is really starting annoy me. It adds so much weight and resistance to my project.

And the yarn is just annoying me. It's kind of sticky feeling and was causing a lot of issues during the crossed stitches - catching and splitting and the like. Such a pain! Especially since I have a fair bit more of this yarn in different colors I'm one day going to have to use up. Oh, and I'm pretty sure I'm just about done staring at this color green, too.

If I haven't been whining enough, let me just say that the crossed stitches and cables make this project so slow! And I don't mind project that aren't done in a flash, but I do like to have a rhythm when I knit. And crossing half the stitches on a row does not allow for anything resembling a smooth rhythm. I have decided to skip the crossed stitches pattern on the foot of the sock because of the aforementioned fit issues (while they will fit now, adding a crossed stitch pattern around the gusset would have guaranteed they would not have fit when done), but I won't deny that I'm happy to not have to do them anymore. Stockinette is so much happier.

Hopefully I'll be able to push through and finish these socks up and none of my grumpiness will carry over to the finished product. Maybe once they are done, I'll remember why I wanted to do them in the first place - the pattern is really cute! But for now, I'm kind of feeling like they are doomed.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Familial Insanity

Sometimes, Dan brings home strays from work. Most recently, monitor arms. So now his office looks like this:

Dan's Insanity

Insane, yes? Completely. You would not believe the glow that comes from the office now even when the lights are off.

Disturbingly, the mounting arms have the ability to mount two more monitors. Thankfully, Dan does not have two more monitors to mount. Yet.

My insanity, however, takes up much less space - and electricity. Knitting needles!

KA Switch Short Set

These will not, however replace my delightful and much loved HiyaHiya Sharps. No, these are special, tiny needles. It's hard to tell in the first picture because there is no size reference, so try this one on for size.

2" Needle Tips

Yep, tiny needles. Two inches, in fact. They are for making nine inch circulars and I'm so excited about them. After I finish my current project, I'm going to try these babies out by making some socks for Dan.

Speaking of needles, though, I keep forgetting to mention: I now have a full set (plus an extra needle or two) of my wonderful HiyaHiya Sharps.

HiyaHiya Needles

Seriously, if you knit, try these needles. There's no universally perfect needle that everyone will love, but I think these are pretty dang close.

So now I'm all stocked up needles. Wonderful, lovely needles! And Dan's fully stocked up on monitors. You hear that, Dan? No more monitors!